Supermoon with silhouette Starlings

The Moon, From the Terrace

Between 02.35 and 07.45 (GMT) earlier today a rare event called the "Super Blood Wolf Moon" occurred. Miss it? So did I! Don't worry though you get another chance  in 2021. Read more


Books on a Bookshelf

Good Reads 2019

Skip this post if you're looking for the next Margaret Atwood, Bernard Cornwell, celebrity biography or self help book. "This-is-not-the-Good-Read-Review-you're-looking-for"! If you're interested in wildlife, outdoors, conservation and the landscape stick around, I've got some little gems for you.Read more


Train window moving train

Observations Leeds to London Kings Cross

22nd April 2018, 18.16, (Facing East)

Corner Flag (yellow)
Magpies  7
Wood pigeon 130 Read more


Unique snow shape sculpted by the beast from the east

Walking With The Beast

When you think of the wild, what do you think of? The Masai Mara? Antarctica? A South American Rainforest? Or maybe it’s a children’s birthday party at a soft play centre! Read more


Early Morning Dip

It's April, it's Cold and it's too early. There is just one thought that stops me hitting the snooze button on the alarm. Dipper Fledglings. The key to getting out of bed early is pretty much the same as tackling a swim in the Atlantic; you have to jump in (or out) head first!

I drop out of bed, grab the nearest set of clothes (luckily they’re my own!) and step out. Without a millilitre of caffeine it feels a gargantuan effort. The river is shaded from the early morning sun and it’s cold but the sound of the river is soothing and the spears of light illuminating distant rocks promise warmth. Hopeful, I lie flat on the chilled, serrated and uncomprimising stoney floor.

“What am I doing here?!” A thought so hard felt that I’m not sure if I heard it in my head or from my lips. The light isn’t right, the stones beneath me are starting to bruise my skin and I’m convinced there’s a wildlife bonanza occurring just past that bend in the river. Yet, there are Dippers over here. Over there, just beyond the reach of my lens. It's a question that has been asked since we grew legs... "Wait? Or try and move closer?"

I try and shake out the aches in my bones and settle down. "Ten minutes and if nothing happens, I'll try and move closer". The three or four Dippers start rock hopping in my direction, I try not to breathe. To my wonder two fledglings land nearby and are promptly fed by a caring parent.

It could of been three minutes or three hours that passed as I photographed these slate grey hovering balls of fluff and they're attentive parents...


Dip, Dip, Dip, Dip Dipper

A fun Friday animated gif of a dipping dipper for you…


Up On The Roof


I'm on the bed playing a Sudoku app when I hear it. It’s early evening and it’s that delicate moment when the kids have just closed their eyes and I'm praying they make it to deep sleep without interruption. It's reassuringly quiet. That’s when I hear it. A high pitched shrill that pierces my soul and triples my heart rate. I leap off the bed and run up into the loft as fast as I can. Out of the loft window I lean as far as I dare. They're still here. The Swifts. The Swifts are here. Read more


Above the Clouds in Lower Wharfedale

Sometimes it just takes a short ascent to get out of the cloud and into the sunshine...


Waiting For a Train at Kings Cross

What do you do when you've got over two hours wait for your train back to Yorkshire and you've already doubled your daily coffee quota?!

 

Keep calm, get the gorilla pod out and make a time-lapse!

 


A Whiter Shade of Pale

As the “Beast from the East” flew in, two Woodcocks flew out. Whether it was the army of tobogganists storming the hill by Catton Wood, or the fierce Siberian winds, it was another first for me and a great start to my walk out.

It was a wild walk that took me up onto the moor and into waist deep snowdrifts, with winds so strong I could sit on the air!

As I left the village via Sun Lane and headed toward Audley Clevedon I picked up a tail. A male Kestrel appeared to be trailing me, it would jet past me and find a perch some hundred metres away. This happened on several occasions before I lost him at the summit of the Burley moor.

In the week that followed, Red Kites started pick up there presence overhead, often catching my eye as they glided and arced over the studio skylight.

When the Cornmill Pond wasn’t frozen more often than not you’d catch a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher. This one is a shy Kingfisher, that dives downstream of the pond and out of sight after just a minute; though it does feel like each of our meetings lasts a little longer.

A friend told me there’d been another Otter sighting at Burley weir, unfathomably at lunchtime on a Saturday!

On my recent visits to the weir I saw a Dipper dipping on a snow covered branch (no camera!), two Cormorants (at the same time), a male & female Goosander and on the opposite bank, in the snow I just caught sight of a Hare, before it turn tailed and disappeared into the white.

My last sighting of note came after failed attempt to catch the last post. As I headed back package still in hand I looked up and saw a white Heron, almost certainly a Great Egret and not a common site. A fitting ending to a week centred around the white stuff.